Friday, February 25, 2005

This ad match is so bad it's almost funny...

My publisher just posted the following notice on their message board. This is so bad it's almost funny...

Earlier today I set up the section of the board for Xanna Vinson's The Song of an Emerald Dove. I sent her email saying that the section was ready, and encouraging her to register, get her username, and log in.

Later I got an email from her, and don't you believe that it's impossible to tell emotion in emails. I could almost feel the horror in her voice.

You see, the ads that run at the top of this message board are part of the Google AdSense program. Google's software apparently reads the text of the page and finds an ad with similar words. (I'm simplifying it, surely, but you catch my drift.) Well, sometimes the ads it shows aren't quite appropriate...

For example, for Xanna, a staunch animal lover who kept doves for many years, an ad for dove HUNTING at the top of her message board section was NOT appropriate!

I looked at the ads again tonight and there were four: one was for dove releases (as in weddings), two were for hunting, and one was for CDs by a group called the Doves.

There *is* a way to filter out ads that are not appropriate for the text, but the message board providers said that because of the way the ads are implemented on this system, it's not possible for them to filter out ads for individual message boards.

So please bear with us while we search for a solution. I like Google and Google ads, and I realize that this is just a faulty algorithm, but I know how disturbing a mismatch like this can be.

Harvest Shadows Publications

Wow. Can you imagine? I mean, here we have ads for companies who provide beautiful, peaceful releases of doves as a symbol of love and peace stacked next to ads for companies who provide you the means of slaughtering them! Ya gotta love the Internet!


What I'm Reading Now...

  • Page After Page by Heather Sellers
  • How to Write Killer Fiction by Carolyn Wheat
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style by Laurie E. Rozakis
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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